Behind the mask-Health Care System Breakdown Part II

I’ve been very open about my experience with my pregnancy loss. I had an ectopic pregnancy and suffered 4 weeks of severe pain, bleeding and very classic ectopic pregnancy symptoms, which were not diagnosed in a timely manner. I also have been open about my birthing scare, I almost lost my last child.

After the death of Kim Porter and Serena Williams’s own health scare I knew that there were more voices than just mine, that others had experienced lack of compassion or even outright mistreatment or misdiagnosis.

We need to discuss how to revamp these systems openly. Testimonies can help others be brave with their stories.

I thank all those whose shared their experiences.


Age: 30

Gender: Female
Region of the country: New Orleans, La
Occupation: Certified Peer support specialist, Mental Health Advocate, Creator Of The Safe Place App
Please explain why you chose the hospital or practice you chose to receive care from?
My insurance was accepted at this particular place.
What were you receiving care for?
Pill overdose due to a suicide attempt
How did you feel when you first started receiving treatment?
I felt horrible. One of the nurses started yelling at me, asking me why would I do such a thing. I was already completely out of it, and hurting badly mentally, so of course her yelling at me at treating me like a child made me feel worse.
Explain a bit about what warning signs you first saw that your treatment might not be in your best interest?
I was in the hospital for a week because of my overdose, a few of those days were in intensive care. No one asked me did I need a bath or did I need to wash up, until I was about to leave. So I didn’t have a bath for about 4 or 5 days until finally someone asked me. I was still feeling weak, depressed, and I didn’t talk much, so I felt that in the state I was in, someone should’ve at least offered.
What were some of the issues you experienced with your care? Examples: were you not believed about your symptoms? Was any follow up done in your care? Did you feel adequately supported in your diagnosis?
I was made to feel like a criminal. I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own, they made someone watch you, they wouldn’t listen to me about seeing my psychiatrist, but instead wanted to ship me to a mental health facility at least 2 hours or so away from home, and when I stated I didn’t want to go I was threatened to be restrained, which made my mental health feel a lot worst.
I’m so sorry this was your experience. How would you have felt better supported? Did they explain their protocol for suicide reduction? And were you able to see your psychiatrist after your release and did that help?

I did not feel supported at all. I felt humiliated, criminalized, and treated like a child who couldn’t make decisions for herself.

I would’ve felt better supported had they treated me with more decency, kindness, and respect. Not everyone I encountered who worked there was bad, but the people who were bad just ruined my entire outlook on how they treated suicide patients at that hospital. Just because I was in for a suicide attempt didn’t make me some kind of criminal or helpless child who couldn’t speak up for their own healthcare.
No, they didn’t really explain suicide protocol, I was just made to follow whatever they told me.

I did see my psychiatrist after, and no at that time it didn’t help. I felt it probably would have had they sent me to him first, and not far away from home at a strange facility.

*** If you or a loved one is feeling suicidal call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline*** and/or visit the closest emergency department.

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